Being a software developer in 2020

As software developers, we learn all the time. New frameworks, new programming languages, new dev ops, the list seems endless. So, we often plan to catch up with X and Y, through online courses, videos, blog posts, asking a colleague etc. Many mention it when giving career advice. And I have done so myself up until the end of 2019.

But it’s different now. I believe that the best you can do for your career as a software developer in 2020 is to focus on climate change*. Reduce your meat and dairy consumption**. Talk about climate change with your family, friends, colleagues. Contact your local politicians and ask that they bring in legislation that keeps fossil fuels in the ground. Contact any organisation you are a member or customer of, and ask them to divest from fossil fuels.

I know, I know, I’m mostly talking about communication skills. And, as software developers, we’re not always too comfortable with those. So it’s a big ask.

“I’m worried I will get behind if I don’t learn framework X and all the other developers do.”

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Mobile native app developer. 9 years experience with the Android SDK, 2 years with Flutter. Past apps range from start ups to large tech (Google) and non tech (British Airways) companies. LinkedIn natalie ( at ) cogitas (dot) net

Software developers: the 5 minutes habit that will boost your workday

Do you ever get distracted at work? Yes, me too…

The problem

We get distracted. By someone, a live issue, a meeting, a colleague asking a quick question, a broken build pipeline, and so on. Reasons are plenty.

We forget “where we were”.

My solution

Every workday, I write an ordered list of tasks I will do at the start of the next workday.

My implementation

Just before logging off, I set aside 5 minutes.

This is useful to do this every workday. Don’t skip it. Particularly, don’t skip it on Friday at 5.30pm. I know you want to get out of the building, but stay 5 more minutes, you will thank yourself for it on Monday morning.

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Mobile native app developer. 9 years experience with the Android SDK, 2 years with Flutter. Past apps range from start ups to large tech (Google) and non tech (British Airways) companies. LinkedIn natalie ( at ) cogitas (dot) net

How to increase your Android app ratings

Android app ratings and reviews: we love them, and we fear them. At times, it can feel that users only bother with them to complain. Sure, we like to hear about the issues in our apps so we can improve them, but a little love would be nice too!

There is a simple trick to increase your Android app ratings, but it needs to be deployed with care.

Is your app ready for higher ratings?

Overall, the foremost requirement to get higher ratings is to have a good app. If your app doesn’t do what users expect it to do, improve your app rather than obsess about your ratings.

So, before reading on, ask yourself: are you proud of your app?
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Mobile native app developer. 9 years experience with the Android SDK, 2 years with Flutter. Past apps range from start ups to large tech (Google) and non tech (British Airways) companies. LinkedIn natalie ( at ) cogitas (dot) net

4 tips to boost your software development career

Software development is a fast-changing field. But, you, personally, do you write code now that you wouldn’t have written a year ago? If not, you may be missing out on a lot of career opportunities (as well as a lot of fun).

I’m NOT suggesting you do the tips below in your spare time. I don’t believe in the myth of “You need to have x personal coding projects to show your software development skills”. Indeed, I have a young family and I restrict my working hours (Sounds crazy? Read Why the CEO of Basecamp only allows employees to work 32 hours a week). You should try the tips below while working as you normally do.

Tip 1: Identify a software development task you don’t like (and do it for 30 minutes)

We all have tasks we don’t like doing. We know them, our colleagues know them, our employers know them (or soon will), and they are holding us back. Most often than not, it’s just a silly reluctance: yes, we may never love doing them, but there is no reason to let them stop us from progressing in our career.
Continue reading “4 tips to boost your software development career”

Mobile native app developer. 9 years experience with the Android SDK, 2 years with Flutter. Past apps range from start ups to large tech (Google) and non tech (British Airways) companies. LinkedIn natalie ( at ) cogitas (dot) net